Harper Government Invests in British Columbia’s Kootenay Region Mining and Metals Industry

Press Release ~

July 13, 2015 – Trail, British Columbia – Western Economic Diversification Canada

Today, David Wilks, Member of Parliament for Kootenay—Columbia, on behalf of the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced a $748,601 investment to the Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST) to establish a metallurgical industry development accelerator in the West Kootenay.

Funding, provided through the Western Diversification Program, will allow KAST to establish and operate a centre for Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration and Studies (MIDAS). This sector-targeted applied research and commercialization centre will provide downstream metallurgical expertise, a digital fabrication laboratory, and business development support for the region.

MIDAS will assist with the establishment and growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by strengthening the direct-to-market deployment of mineral/metal by-products; supporting applied research and development of commercial applications; providing technical training in metallurgical science and digital fabrication; and offering business mentoring.

Quick Facts

  • The mining and metals industry is an important economic driver in B.C. with companies reporting $8.2 billion in revenue in 2014.
  • For the West Kootenay region, the mining and metalssector is an economic anchor providing major employment and creating a number of spin-off companies.
  • KAST works to foster a culture that values science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship as activities vital to maintaining and enhancing the economic diversity and competitiveness of the West Kootenay-Boundary region.


“Our Government recognizes that a robust economy relies on the strengths of all communities across the West. This investment will strengthen industry in B.C.’s rural sector, which will serve to diversify and strengthen Western Canada’s economy.”

– David Wilks, Member of Parliament for Kootenay—Columbia

“Long proximity to Teck’s Trail Operations has created a West Kootenay where our deep technical and entrepreneurial talent, industrial innovation and access to metallurgical material can create high quality rural jobs and opportunities for local businesses, all while enjoying our unbeatable access to the great outdoors. MIDAS provides companies and entrepreneurs the tools, coaching and technical expertise needed to succeed.”

– Leon Pigott, KAST Board Chair

Ben Standford
Regional Communications Manager
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Telephone: 604-666-3395
Email: ben.stanford@wd-deo.gc.ca

Erin Handy
Executive Director
Kootenay Association for Science & Technology Telephone: 250-362-5052
Email: erin@kast.com

WD Toll-Free Number: 1-888-338-WEST (9378)
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
Website: WD is online at www.wd-deo.gc.ca.